Sam Truitt was born in Washington, DC, and raised there and in Tokyo, Japan. His books include Dick: A Vertical Elegy (Lunar Chandelier, 2014), Vertical Elegies 6: Street Mete (SHP, 2012, Vertical Elegies: Three Works (UDP, 2008), Vertical Elegies 5: The Section (Georgia, 2003) and Anamorphosis Eisenhower (Lost Roads, 1998), among other books. An excerpt of Raton Rex (from Three Works) was selected by Robert Creeley for 2002 Best American Poetry (Scribner), and his work has also been anthologized in A Best of Fence: The First Nine Years (Fence Books, 2009) American Poetry: The Next Generation (Carnegie Mellon, 2000). His poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Boston Review, Explosive, Jacket, Talisman, and First Intensity, among other journals. His critical writing may be found in Fulcrum and the American Book Review. His works of visual poetry have been exhibited at the Rothstein Gallery, Tonic and the St. Marks Poetry Project and may be seen on www.ubu.com, among other sites. His writing is in a semi-permanent installation at the Paramount Hotel’s Whiskey Bar, designed by Philippe Starck, off Times Square in New York City.
He is the recipient of a 2010-2011 George A. and Eliza Howard Fellowship, two Fund for Poetry grants, the 2002 Contemporary Poetry Series Award from the University of Georgia and residencies at Yaddo, The MacDowell Colony and Vermont Studio Center, among other professional acknowledgments.
Sam Truitt holds a BA from Kenyon College, MFA from Brown University, and a PhD from SUNY-Albany, where he teaches, as well as at Bard College. He is also the Managing Director of Station Hill of Barrytown, and with Kim Jaye and their daughters, Indiana and Evangeline, lives in the Mid-Hudson Valley. For more, visit www.samtruitt.org
In|Filtration is an anthology of contemporary Hudson Valley poetry that in one sense or another is innovative. The poets’ work is sometimes formally original and other times innovative in the use of more familiar poetic forms: old bottle/new wine; new bottle/old wine; and, quite often, new bottle/new wine. Much of the poetry here is directly or indirectly in conversation with national and international movements directed toward more exploratory uses of the medium...
In|Filtration is an anthology of contemporary Hudson Valley poetry that in one sense or another is innovative. The poets’ work is sometimes formally original and other times innovative in the use of more familiar poetic forms: old bottle/new wine; new bottle/old wine; and, quite often, new bottle/new wine. Much of the poetry here is directly or indirectly in conversation with national and international movements directed toward more exploratory uses of the medium—work that goes beyond the explorer's map into uncharted territories, places where the map tatters in the explorer's pocket and another world begins. Like explorers the editors have sought to map the contemporary currents of radical poetics in the Hudson Valley. There is truly an enormous wealth of poetic activity in the region, and of course such an exploration cannot be comprehensive Themselves poets, the editors present what they take to be the salient characteristic of the region in their essay “A Hudson Valley Salt Line” at the end of the anthology, pointing to the geological, human and cultural histories of the Hudson Valley as they dovetail with its poetries. They also provide their rationale for the title In|Filtration with particular reference to the Hudson River's salt line, which becomes the essay's key trope.
Street Mete’s multimedia montage is a performative work in language/photo art. Truitt creates a poetics of transcribed voice recordings and on-the-spot photos made in the streets and subways of New York between 1996 and 2004....
Street Mete’s multimedia montage is a performative work in language/photo art. Truitt creates a poetics of transcribed voice recordings and on-the-spot photos made in the streets and subways of New York between 1996 and 2004. Infused journal entries give autobiographical edge to its sometimes harsh historical landscape that includes the fall of civilizations, yoking for example the Mayan ruins of Chichén-Itzá to our current walkways. At core is spontaneous composition on the hoof, the “sudden diction” arising from a language artist meeting the world with recorder in hand, speaking forward—”a bit of rubble wearing clothes walking past madison square garden with a pair of enormous inflated boxing gloves oldenbergian in the car line catching fire...”
Tokyoatoto is made of and from a hand-written book composed by the poet Sam Truitt in the course of a 2019 Tokyo sojourn. The writing includes, among other elements, descriptions, impressions, insights into Japanese life and culture and the concrete exigencies of negotiating a foreign land....
Tokyoatoto is made of and from a hand-written book composed by the poet Sam Truitt in the course of a 2019 Tokyo sojourn. The writing includes, among other elements, descriptions, impressions, insights into Japanese life and culture and the concrete exigencies of negotiating a foreign land. This last aspect is somewhat complicated by the fact Truitt lived in Tokyo for four years from the age of three and that Japanese was very close to his first language. Moreover the culture of Japan was also close to his first, so that this influence acts as a palimpsest backfield to the writing as the author both seeks and betimes touches traces of its influence. Tokyoatoto's structure is unique in that Truitt seeks to foreground that movement toward originality by reproducing in facsimile the pages of the hand-written book, with their transcriptions appearing on opposite pages. An engaging, thoughtful and sometimes profound glimpse into contemporary life in Tokyo from a perspective of complicated naivety, Tokyoatoto is a fast, entertaining poetic flight full of pratfalls, missed connections, slips and surrenders in which, as the author writes on a Tokyo subway passage, "one senses a web each of us hold together & against & around us like a net knit of civility not docility as there are some faraway landscapes in our mind & in our heart & our bodies are dreaming all of them uniting to listen to the underground hum its magic."
ADVANCE PRAISE for Tokyoatoto
“Sam Truitt has added a wonderful new innovative example of one of my favorite genres—travel poetry. By way of two ‘T squares’ (Times and Tiananmen), on the way to Japan, he generously expands the notational into double accordion-fold expanses, condensing sound, thought, perception and time. The reader is invited into the poet’s process alternating between quicksilver caught thought to poems lifted to the next level of line-break shape and form. The notebook page determines each ‘song’s’ length, much as Kerouac does with his MEXICO CITY BLUES, each part fitting in a pocket notebook. Here Truitt scores his poems across vertical lines, creating a palimpsest that references both the verticality of written Japanese language cross-hatched with English, as well as flown-through clouds of sound gathering in storm. In this travelogue of the present moment back in time to a formative locale, what’s here now? In this delightful map of the mind moving we are given both deft improvisation and sculptural thought-song of all senses played ‘toward the most beautiful / place on earth 52 years / coming home.’”
—Lee Ann Brown, author of Philtre: Writing in the Dark 1989-2020
“Inscription and transcription, the two fundamental modes of literary composition, echo each other in this work. The texts alternate—notebook handwritten, poem typeset—calling their relationship into a dialogue. We stop seeing one as the inevitable outcome of the other. The process of writing interweaves the autographic hand and the allographic type, the individual expression and the linguistic system. Are the works ‘the same’ in each version—or does the process engage us with the impossibility of their being identical to each other. The intimacy of writing as note-taking feels palpably present. We intrude on those personal pages, even in facsimile. By contrast, the public-facing presentation of the typeset texts feels bold, exposed, declaratively blunt in its directness. Throughout, the texts themselves constantly reference lines and notations, divisions and demarcations, marking personal time and actual space across coordinates of language. Tracking, tracing, defining, delineating—all the many terms of writing activate this work and its notational transits.”
—Johanna Drucker, author of Diagrammatic Writing
“Pop testimony, an epiphany going from language to a linguistic beyond of sullen images (too good to be entropy, though), conforming the edge of a (self) reflective anthroposphere. This staccato rumination shows culture to be something less (and more) than the usual accumulation-in-progress of technical & folkloric victories. Tokyoatoto is fine funk.”
—Omar Pérez, author of Cubanology